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The Cycle

Conservative Abby Huntsman, author Touré, correspondent Ari Melber, former candidate Krystal Ball.

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Us 8, Washington 5, Hollywood 4, Chris Christie 4, Toure 3, Bitcoin 3, New York 3, Robert Townsend 2, Michelle Obama 2, Geico 2, Lincoln 2, Dave Chappell 2, Schumer 2, Jennifer 2, Sponge 2, Boehner 2, California 2, Sudafed Pe Pressure 1, Kfc 1, Wanda 1,
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  MSNBC    The Cycle    Conservative Abby Huntsman, author Touré,  
   correspondent Ari Melber, former candidate Krystal Ball.  

    February 28, 2014
    12:00 - 1:01pm PST  

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you are in the cycle. 24 hours ago you heard an emotional president obama take a personal lead in tackling a very real problem. >> i explained to them that when i was their age, i was a lot like them. i didn't have a dad in the house. and i was angry about it even though i didn't necessarily realize it at the time. i made bad choices. i got high without always thinking about the harm that it could do. i didn't always take school as seriously as i should have. i made excuses. the only difference is that i grew up in an environment that was a little bit more forgiving. i firmly believe that he have child deserves the same chances that i had. because if america stands for anything, it stands for the idea of opportunity for everybody. the notion that no matter who you you are or where you came
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from or the circumstances into which you are born, if you work hard, if you take responsibility, then you can make it in this country. >> the approach to expand opportunity for all, not a right for a few. and as one white aide said, democrats have a different approach. we leave the economy grows best when it grows from the middle out. that's how the president wants his party to frame the midterm debate. we'll hear more on that when he addresses the dnc winter meeting. let's start the show with brian boiler. i want to go back to my brother's keeper, this interesting initiative the president is pushing. and i think back to 2008 when the president was introducing himself to the nation. for the most part, part of the bargain he was making with the nation was i'm not going to talk about race unless i have to and i'm certainly not going to make white people feel bad about race
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and not give special reemt to black people. and now here in the middle of the second term we're talking about school discipline reform, criminal justice reform and high brother's keeper. things that are specifically for troubled black people. how do you feel and how do you think a lot of white americans feel about finally getting to what might be called a real black president? >> i think it's like one of the most unobjectionable things that the first black president would do. maybe particularly with re-election behind him. i don't think it would have hurt him in the first term. it seems like a great use of a president's time particularly when congress isn't really doing anything. or interested in helping him do anything that could change policy of the country. i think it's a useful exercise. anytime something -- a story about lack on white crime happens in the country, conservatives talk about black culture this, black culture
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that. and here is the first black president of the united states kind of addressing that, saying i'm going to take a leadership role in the the black community. and jennifer rubin sees this and says you're being racist against white people. so it kind of shows the sort of bankruptcy of that in line of critique about both the president and so youth sort thoe issues. >> many wondering why we didn't hear this type of speech in his first term. not every day did you see bipartisan support around the initiative. even the president joked when you have bill o'reilly and reverend sharpton in the same room, it's a good event. 85% want congress to compromise. and it wasn't just the audience yesterday. it was also president obama mentioned that we all need to
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work together to help these young men of color succeed. here's what he had to say. >> part of my message, part of our message in this initiative, is no excuses. government and private sector philanthropy and all the communities have to help you knock down some of the barriers that you experience. that's what we're here for. but you have a responsibility, too. >> it's this message that the government isn't responsible for everything, it's also -- it comes down to organizations, companies and also personal responsibility. that's a message that is appealing to conservatives. >> i think so. back when president obama addressed the anniversary of the march on washington, he delivered similar lines. and they weren't met overwhelmingly well by liberals
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being by people in the black community, but a lot of liberals have conceived of it as president obama kind of like throwing a bone to the conservative critique of liberal ideas and black culture and so on. but at the same time, i think that just like working with troubled black youth is an unobjectionable thing for the first black president to be doing. i think that he naturally gets a lot of leeway in deciding how he goes about communicating in that way. and so, you know, i agree that it's the sort of message that should not be a lightning rod for political criticism, but i think it probably will be. and maybe even from some surprising quarters. >> i want to turn to another piece of the conversation around economic opportunity, something you've been writing about. this week is the new republican tax proposal coming specifically from congressman dave camp. and i got to tell you from my
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perspective, i was not expecting much from this proposal. i was expecting a lot more, you know, let's find an excuse to lower taxes on the rich and possibly raise them on the poor. i was really surprised by how serious this proposal was, how well thought out, the analysis done so far show it is it actually raises overall the tax burden a bit on the wealthy and lowers it in particular on the middle class. and overall, basically keeps the existing progress siivity of th tax company. i know there is stuff you and i don't love, but this is a serious proposal. do you think that we should use this as the basis to start negotiations on reforming our tax code? >> i personally think that it would be -- it would kind of scramble the politics for the mid it terms and also be a good idea on the merits for democrats to actually try to engage in the
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bill because it actually gets in to the mayor rove trrow of the actually try to engage in the bill because it actually gets in to the marrow of the tax code. i think it has some real problems, i mean, irrespective of the fact that dave camp did something pretty astonishing by getting into the guts of the tax code and really thinking hard about how he would reform it in a conservative way that isn't totally unfair, it also has some things that i think democrats would need to really change about it if they were going to seriously enter tape passing something like it. like what i wrote about today is in the second ten years of that tax reform, sort of automatically reverts to a tax cut for the rich partially financed by the stealth tax increase on the middle class and i don't think any democrat would go for that conceptually. but he got the ball halfway down the field. i think it would be fascinating both substantively and political for democrats to take him up on the offer and just also see what
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republicans do in response. the speaker of the house isn't wild about this. mitch mcconnell isn't wild about this. but if democrats called their bluff and said we want to use this republican tax plan as a starting point, that could completely change the nature of the political discussions that we've been having in washington for the last, what, six months now. >> i believe speaker boehner's exact quote about the details of the plan were blah blah blah. so where does that leave us on this politically? is there an opportunity for democrats to pick this up and try to sort of split the republican caucus, work with dave camp and push this through, or with mcconnell and boehner both sort of saying they're not that interested in this, is there not much of an opportunity to play ball on it? >> i think in theory democrats wanted to just test republicans, they could. i don't see that happening. the early statements from democrats are luke warm about this. they're not like blah, blah,
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blah. they're not just dismissing this out of hand. but patty murray who is the senate budget committee chairman, she issued a statement where she said she was disappointed that it doesn't take any steps to reduce the deficit by raising taxes on upper income americans and senator schumer who is from new york which is one of the highest state taxes in the country took issue with the fact that it eliminates the ability of state and local taxation which is a big thing in california, new york and other high tax states. so they're picking it apart in a way that suggests they're not interested in engaging on it or using it as a starting point. i would like to see them do it just to see where they get. i don't think it would happen, but i think it would be fascinating and it's a real opportunity that sthey shouldn' write-off. >> and on the democrat being
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side, this proposal includes a bank tax. there are a numb democrchmber o eliminates the so-called carry interest about thatthis proposa tax. there are a number of -- and eliminates the so-called carry interest about that a up 1/2 democrat would be uncomfortable with that as well. >> including schumer. >> exactly. >> earlier brian said something about troll going and i feel they hahave been trolling ameri. on to our theme. the oscars. people will say stuff like you like me, you really like me. it's the final friday in february. ♪ [ girl ] my mom, she makes underwater fans that are powered by the moon. ♪ she can print amazing things, right from her computer. [ whirring ]
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welcome back to the cycle. we're counting down to hollywood's biggest night. actually, i guess we've been doing that all week. kind of like our unplanned new year's back in january. totally life changing. on wednesday, we placed our bets on who would take home golden statues based on thes have of our resident bookie. here's where those odds stand as of right now. as history shows, toure complained. >> i knew he would bring that back. >> let's get the inside track of someone in the know.
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>> i think we should. >> at the beginning of the oscar season when it appeared that lincoln was going to win, everybody thought that, i said it's the year of lincoln. but then ar fwchgo. and now it's the year of 12 years a slave. >> and one thing i always wonder, by the time you get to this point, all the people like toure who are in the know and like you know basically what will happen, right? it's probably going to be 12 years a slave. how do you know that? where does that come from? >> well, i guess the honest answer is we don't really know that. but we listen and we read a lot and you've seen the movies. i've seen the movies. so you sort of kind of take all that in. >> but by now the voters have already told us who they like.
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>> true, but sometimes those things don't always pan out. >> clearly. >> when i picked "argo," it was after all the award shows had gone. >> but again, sometimes -- there are still surprises. you can be surprised. you can pick lincoln and "argo" can win. you can pick 12 years a slave and who knows? some people -- >> matt, very nice having you. >> i've been seeing a lot of people talk about the piece in the hollywood reporter by an anonymous director. and he picked american hustle. >> jerk. >> he has a lot of jerky things to say. he complained about people talk about too much courageous to make and it wasn't funny at all. >> a movie about slavery is not funny? >> and he gets to the animated film category and he's like who
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cares. is this representative of all of sort of an old school attitude prevalent in the academy or is this one guy complaining? >> i suspect it may be a mix which you were of the two. you hear the academy is an older bunch. once you're in, you're pretty much in. so their tastes can skew older. so some things may not appeal to the older demographic. like i can relate to the story of a guy who is in love with his phone. >> yeah, it's a love story. >> based on my life. but an older viewer may not get that. so i think that definitely can come into play sometimes. >> that's true. but i think it will be the year of 12 years a slave. i think we'll see nobody get a large number of awards, it will be one of those something for everybody oscars, but i think
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we'll see 12 years a slave which is really interesting because first time a black person, best picture, first time and you have film that is all about a black subject, very serious subject. but not chosen because of the politics, chosen because it is an excellent film. >> and that would be my pick, too, although some say it's like 50/50. and you will probably see gravity win a lot of the technical awards. it wouldn't shock me for 12 years a slave to win best picture but the director of gravity may win best director. >> usually there a narrative whoever wins best picture gets something else. picture doesn't make itself. it has to have a director or actor who shines. but this year they give to 12 years maybe. >> i don't even know why we had a guest on this subject. toure knows more than anybody. >> no, let's give it to matt. he came to play. >> i'm kidding.
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i want to hear more from matt. speaking of the speeches, i always love the acceptance stevens. one that i think will always be remembered is tom hanks in 1994 for philadelphia. he played a closeted lawyer diagnosed with aids and he talked about two friends that he had in high school that really inspired him to act. let's take a look at that real quick. >> i would not be standing here if it weren't for two very important men in my life. two that i haven't spoken with in a while but i had the pleasure of just the other evening, my high school drama teacher who taught me that act well there the glory lies. and one of my classmates, john, i mention their names because they are two of the finest gay americans, two wonderful men, that i had the good fortune to be associated with, to fall under their inspiration at such a young age. i wish my baby could have the
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same sort of teacher, the same sort of friend. and there lies my dilemma here tonight. i know that my work in this case is magnified by the fact that the streets of heaven are too crowded with angels. we know their names. they number 1,000 for each one of the red ribbons that we wear here tonight. >> that still makes you feel emotional when you hear that 20 years later. what makes for the most memorable, the most i guess the best speeches from the oscars? >> well, i want to give him an oscar for that speech. >> that was an incredible speech. the secret was he wasn't i'd like to thank my agent and my manager and the guy who gets my coffee in the morning. it was substantive. it was about something. it meant something. the men meant something to him and he was expressing that. >> and it wasn't a long rambling thing.
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kudos to the orchestra, too. sometimes they're saying something interesting and then all of a sudden -- >> do they jump in sooner now than they did back then? >> i was wondering that. he was talking for a fair amount of time. >> i think they're trying to move the slow along. what was the best movie of the year in. >> for me? some of my favorites weren't even nominated. i would have picked hur. i joked about the local iphone thi thing. there was a wonderful film called short term 12 which was about this care facility for teenagers who were orphans essentially. absolutely blew my mind. made me cry like a baby frankly. those kind of movies often don't get nominated. >> what was the name? >> short term 12.
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>> a little early starting to think about next year, but i saw the lego movie and i frickin' loved it. so good. >> who sees animated movies? >> i do with my children. actually, i loved despicable me. i know frozen will win. anyway, thank you very much. ellen degeneres is back again this sunday which i am psyched about. but who was your favorite? nancy says billy crystal. i think he will help shouellen too. let us know what you think about all the results. the stars could have a soggy walk on the red carpet. we will get a check of the wild weather in store this weekend next. hey guys! sorry we're late.
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welcome back. in the east, we're bracing for yet another snowstorm expected to be one of the worst of the season. that snow will very much from chicago through new york and washington. and the ohio valley will slip and slide into an ice storm. and they are welcoming torrential rainfall in southern california. likely wishing they weren't getting so much so fast. more rain in one day than they have seen in two years. some places are beibeing evacua. jennifer is out in the middle of it. >> reporter: out in the middle of it for sure. the rain is all coming at once. good news for drought stricken california, but bad news for the home oerps right in front of this hillside that just a month ago was actually on fire. the threat of mudslides is very real here. so the fact that all this rain is coming in one day, we've had
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1.76 inches in los angeles since this storm began. and up to three inches in some of the mountains. and that is a lot of water coming down the hill. we're here below a gigantic catch basin. the muddy water is flowing and the good news the big stuff is still together on the hills. the mayor of the neighbors city says pressure started the day the fire is out. home eners are ready for anything. the stream we saw this morning was smoke coming out from under a boulder as it rolled down the hill in a torrential downpour. smoke from the fire that was burning this started the middle of january. still the roots underground burning exposed by the rain and everything rolling down the hill. so the danger of fire is still very real underground here even
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during a torrential rainstorm. so now that the rain is here even after it stops, the there the of mudslides won't be over for many, many years to come until everything grows back on the hillside. so everybody is keeping a very clee watch over the hill. so far no big damage, just a little bit of mud flow in a few backyards. back to you. >> jennifer, thank you so much. happy birthday tea party patriots. what is your wish? five year ago this week the grass roots group took on the stimulus obamacare and everything in between. and now the tea party darlings are fighting for the future of the gop. on one side, ted cruz. on the other, senator rand paul says his side of the aisle needs to become a new republican party, one that is more diverse. let's start an expanded spin with the cycle with kate, congressional reporter. great to have you here. champion of up on the clock.
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>> thank you very much. >>. >> so when you take this trophy back, will it be a whole office wide event? >> sometimes you need a woman to come and step in. >> absolutely true. >> comen grat lagss. i'm sure you and chris will face off down the road. >> but not josh and toure. >> well played. >> so we're seeing two men, ted cruz and rand paul, taking very different roads to building up their name recognition and build support for a potential run for the presidency. rand paul saying we have to broaden our tents, appeal to the general group of people that actually vote in an election for the presidency. and you have ted cruz doing things very differently. he's honing in on this tea party message saying the year of 2010 was our strongest election year
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that we could have one like that in 2014. if we block immigration reform, if we stand strong on repealing obama care. and i think rand paul in doing this, i think he's hoping to be the leader guiding the republican party out of the wilderness. and he's saying we should be civil, we should not call president obama a democrat in name, the guy who also called chris christie the king of bacon. >> now that chris christie is out of the way, i think rand paul sees an opening there and trying to be more civil mind tsz in the conversation. >> i think what he's saying is i'm building up the far right. he's become the king of the tea party. i think what ted cruiz is sayin is it's much easier to start from the right and go to the middle. and we could see ted cruz doing
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better than many think. >> you can't really question that rand paul is a conservative. cruz had his back on the filibuster. he's a pretty -- it's hard to find a liberal part of rand paul. >> no, but if it comes to rabd paul versus ted cruz, rand paul saying let's broaden our appeal, ted cruz is their man. >> i think the conversation is interesting in the con text of what actually happened in washington over the last four or five points. you had the end of the shutdown, the ryan deal which the republican party didn't like, a farm bill they weren't happy with. and now a debt limit increase done with no concession to conservatives. so you're having a conversation about how ideologically pure should we be, but you have leadership saying they can ignore the tea party impulse and say we're going to say you want to be self-destructive, you can do that, we'll just go ahead and
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govern notwithstanding that. they seem less of a flad of primary challenges than they did a year ago. >> and kate, i think part of the reason the establishment is less afraid of the tea party movement is i think some of the energy has gone out of the tea party movement and frankly, it's because partly economic realities are changing. one of the annimating fears and focuses of the tea party was out of control government spending. we were taxed too much and government is spending way too much money. well, the deficit last year fell more rapidly than in any year since world war ii. so deficits are coming down. are they losing some of the steam that fueled their cause? >> my colleague john stanton who was at their fifth anniversary event yesterday, he filed this really great report. he felt they were rudderless. initially they had obamacare to mobilize them and now there are so many different issues, don't
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know what exactly to pay attention to. i think the immigration he reform mobilized them for a while. the other piece of this is that i think many republicans especially in the house are so clearly identified with the tea party that you don't even need a tea party name anymore. it's all one in the same in the house. >> they're not the outsiders that they used to be. >> absolutely not. and a lot of the groups are based in arlington, virginia. they have definitely become a part of the gop. in the senate, it's a little different situation because people are trying to win statewide races so they have to moderate a bit. >> i think the 2014 elections will be very telling in terms of the future of the tea party. but great to have you. >> thanks so much for having me. and we'll all be watching up with steve kornacki tomorrow morning. brackets come out tomorrow and there is potential competition for most of us here at the tail.
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i haven't done it yet. but up next, bitcoin goes bankrupt. what is bit kocoin again? pay my bill. phone: your account is already paid in full. oh, well in that case, back to vacation mode. ♪boots and pants and boots and pants♪ ♪and boots and pants and boots and pants♪ ♪and boots and pants... voice-enabled bill pay. just a tap away on the geico app. ♪ huh, 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance. yup, everybody knows that. well, did you know that some owls aren't that wise.
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don't forget about i'm having brunch with meagan tomorrow. who? seriously, you met her like three times. who? geico.
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i don't understand. how did this unregulated imaginary currency invented by an anonymous hacker and backed by the full faith and credit of youtube ever go wrong? >> and go wrong it has. once bitcoin's largest exchange filed for bankruptcy today. the announcement was made at a press conference in tokyo, its ceo admitting almost half a billion dollars remains unaccounted for. apparently stolen due to a flaw in the good change's security. prices fell sharply, though they have since recovered. it caps off a rough week for t
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bitco bitcoin. let's turn to our resident explainer who once lived a whole week on bitcoin for a story. she wrote about the latest developments in her new piece. where does it leave bitcoin? can people be convinced that their money will be safe gaen? i have a little bit of a personal stake. >> i think it will get better. one thing is that it stands for magic gathering online exchange, created for people who had a website to trade cards. so you have these companies that aren't taken that seriously and maybe aren't run by giants of industry. and so not a huge surprise they go down.
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>> but it all seriousness, this was not the most reputable -- although one of the largest. so people trusted it in some respect. but the role of bitcoin is basically totally unregulated. so even though this one bad lay ser go er is gop, what assurance does anyone have that the other players aren't going to experience the same problems? >> some companies have better reputations than others. mount gox was large and prominent, but had had suecurit organizations in the path. so other companies are taken more seriously. >> would you feel comfortable putting your money in other players? >> when i finished living on
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bitcoin for a week, i had like 0.6 left and i forgot to cash it out so i left it in coin base. and it's still there. i think it went up and might be worth quite a lot if i never sold it. but i think when i do sell it, there might be tax issues. >> krystal helped me understand. i feel like bit koip oig is better than the other cycle post. but -- >> one man was able to create a currency and make profit out of that. i want to get your take on senator manchin on banning this. what is your reaction to that? does it have real merit or is he making a mount continue out ofa mole hill? >> the fed doesn't have the authority to regulate bit coins.
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and the idea of banning it seems like enormous overreaction. to say somebody lost money in one thing and say let's ban it. >> isn't it a good dwrod have virtual currency or should we not have it at all? >> i think it's fine. >> even though there is no backing and know sort of accountability behind it? >> one advantage is it makes it a lot money to send money internationally. in bitcoin, it would take 30 seconds to five minutes. real money would take days. >> well, it will be interesting to see how it all works out. thanks a lot for coming in. up next, a true hollywood
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trailblazer is joining us. robert townsend tells us how race can be a laughing matter. he joins us next. [ male announcer ] zzzquil. it's not for colds, it's not for pain, it's just for sleep. because sleep is a beautiful thing™. ♪ zzzquil. the non-habit forming sleep aid from the makers of nyquil®.
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as long as black actors play these roles, they will never play the rambos until they stop playing the zambos. >> a great exexample of using comedy to gets a cross political messages. black comedians have used stage and screen to say things too challenging for politicians to say with a straight face. in the way dick gregory, vehicle rock and others functioned as comedian/activists, we could put the next guest in the same brave face. robert townacceptsend has made career of commentary inside edgy jokes. an honor to have you you. >> thank you so much. that clip is funny. >> the clip still kills years and years later. but the point of it of course is that comedy be it in movies or stand up is often a place where black people were able to say things that our black politicians weren't able to say.
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do you think that is still the case? >> well, i think that comedy is perfect for social commentary. and if it is done the right way, it can make you laugh, but also make you think. and i think that one of the guys who did it the best was richard prior. i think a lot of the stuff that he said in his comedy was really speaking to that. i think dave chappell, i loved his show because i thought he had biting things on that show, as well. >> you can talk about richard pryor and the role he played early in this? >> richard pryor was really one part social activist. he was this funny loveable comedian, but he was the first to open up that door in terms of race relations and black/white and how we relate to each other. and he was so honest and open with his comments. >> well, let's take a look for a second at one of my favorite comedians, wanda sykes. >> who is the real michelle
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obama? when will we see the real michelle obama? you know what they're saying. when are we going to see this some f. >> what do you think women of color particular role has been in pushing social comment taker? >> i think there's been pioneers at the forefront and i think whoopi goldberg is one at the top. when whoopi did her one woman show on broadway, she brought the house down because she brought to light some of the things that america wasn't talking about. and so i think she's at the front. wanda is at the front. new voices are emerging, as well. >> it's always easier to talk about sensitive topics in a comedic way when every is sort of laughing about it together. but you also risk sort of going
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over the line and disrespecting someone. it reminds me of a scene in the nutty professor. take a look. >> it's a full moon tonight. i think i found where they hidden in jimmy hoffa. yeah, that's a good one there. >> it was in a bucket of kfc. he must be on a new diet. >> even in that clip, you have some people laughing and others saying i feel so sorry for him. and in this specific scene, it's about weight. but if you're talking about race, the same thing can happen. when do you know when you've gone too far? >> well, i think that's always been the argument. some comedians walk right up to the line and some people go over the line.
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and in that clip, i've been in comedy clubs where that has happened. and sometimes people don't sit in that front row because you know it will happen. and i think for the happen and for the comedy in the film, they use it but i have seen stuff like that happen. there was a comedy club in l.a. called the comedy act theater with michael will whams. robin harris was the emcee there and he would do that to people all the time and he was a genius comedian. it was walking right up to the line and knowing when not to cross the line. >> what advice do you have for it though, so you don't cross it? >> i think it's a matter of taste. everybody has different tastes. i think the best comedians, they understand the audience -- push the audience and put audience only so much and i think some guys go across the line but the really great comedian, i think about you know, chris rock or i think about dave chappell or mike epps or even kevin hart, they can walk right up to that line and not cross it and still have everybody enjoy the joke, even the person they are making
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fun of. >> with the hollywood shuffle, you are really doing an excellent job of mining some difficult and deep sort of social yo political theme he is. and i know you are getting to that police like i want to touch on these themes but i also want to make a funny movie. talk about making that film and putting your sort of political ideas in this but also making really funny. >> part of the of the comedy came out of real-life situations. the first audition i got was for a pimp. and i remember my mother was like, baby, be the best pimp you can be. i remember the whole church was praying for me. let's pray that brother robert gets the role of silky. so you know, so a lot of the stuff is real situations that you can make into comedy. it is not far fetched at all. >> so but i mean, are you playing these pimps and still comfortable with yourself? that's what you're talking about in the film, playing these roles, you know, have the brother talk about yeah, i played a rapist twice, that was good.
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but obviously, like, wow is this the portrayal of blacks i want to put out and what hollywood shuffle is all about? >> well, you know, part of the thing is that, you know, actors of color come in different kind of shapes, sizes and training. and i just remember actors that were classically trained auditioning for these pimps and it is like, i ain't got no money. when i get out of this car, better make sure you pay me. hello. these amazing. >> oh, robert townsend, thank you so much. good to see you, sir. >> thanks for having me on the show. thank you, guys. all right. up next, my thoughts on president's new campaign to help young men of color, got no excuses not to watch. ♪ turn around, barry ♪ i finally found the right snack ♪ [ female announcer ] fiber one. [ chainsaw whirring ] humans -- sometimes life trips us up.
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we've become numb to these statistics. we're not surprised by them. we take them as the norm. we just assume this is an inevitable part of american life, instead of the outrage that it is. >> the president's new my brother's keeper initiative is powerful and inspiring. now, we have the big brother in chief connecting the needs of the troubled black community to the needs of the entire american community and speaking in a way only a black president could, from personal experience and language black boys can connect to. >> i made bad choices. i got high without always thinking about the harm that it could do. i didn't always take school as seriously as i should have. i made excuses. sometimes i sold myself short.
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and i remember when i was saying this, chris, you may remember this, after i was finished, the guy sitting next to me said, are you talking about you? [ laughter ] i said, yeah. and the point was i could see myself in these young men. >> obama's biography has always been one of his best tools but i also find myself depressed by all this, because we see how much help black people need that are beyond the scope of a president. yes, some are vie lint and too many are incarcerated but that's because there are too few jobs and too many guns and too much of the war on drugs, which i see as a war on black and brown young men. we have to significantly change in those areas. if we don't, we are not helping our brothers. and how can young men save themselves while walking down the street or driving in a car with their buddies? jordan davis and trayvon martin, both of whom had father in their lives, wound up in the morgue
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before their 18th birthday. but when the president speaks to the black community, there's of the an dive into the politics of personal responsibility. >> part of my message, part of our message in this initiative is no excuses. we all have a responsibility to help provide you the tools you need. we have got to help you knock down some of the barriers that you experience. that's what we're here for. but you've got responsibilities, too. >> i cringe at that, as if effort and excuses have been the problem. no, it's been structural racism, the accumulated impact of historic discrimination and the advantages of white privilege and the systems that perpetuate all that going into personal responsibility suggests you can make it if you try and he knows it's more complex than that. kids can see the school-to-prison pipeline and the impact of chronic joblessness and the glass ceiling. it's less a change of attitude that's needed but a change in real opportunity. i don't know whether the
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president's imper it i have to speak of personal responsibility to come from, perhaps his impulse to try to see both sides. i can deal with less of the personal responsibility scolding and more of the boldness of say ronald reagan telling gorbachev to tear down this wall because structural racism feels like an invisible berlin wall. i want our president this president, to tell america to tear down the american berlin wall that keeps black men separated from opportunity. that sort of big brother in chief would get us closer to the mountain top. that does it for "the cycle." "now" begins now. chris christie, where is your emergency? it's friday, february 28th and this is "now." >> 911, what is your emergency? >> 911 calls for lane closures on the george washington bridge were released. >> 911, what is your emergency? >> i'm on the george washington bridge, a car accident. >> reminder of all of the little
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avenues for more information to come out. >> the new trove of text messages shows more vin tick div languages. >> casual conversation. >> you don't go pick on ran buys. >> making fun of somebody neither one of them likes that much. >> do you find the investigations are a distract n distraction? >> of course it distracts. recent town hall meetings with the governor. >> i have been to two hall meetings in the last two weeks. >> not one new jersey resident -- >> 28 questions. >> not one person has brought up the lane closures. >> not one. >> challenge chris christie to hold the next town hall at temple beth shalom. >> different wheels in motion. >> residents may be waiting for in ex-shoe to drop. >> all the stuff to come out. >> what do you do? grab them by the ankles and shake them upside down? >> the governor will have to explain why he put such people around. >> my job is to be the adult in the room. i have an obligation to tell you all the truth, no matter what. >> nightmare traffic, irate motorists, medical emergencies, today, we are hearing the sounds